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[GUIDE] Installing BOINC on Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10

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Windows 8 was used for this guide, but the installation procedures are the same for Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10.

1) Download the BOINC client software for your version of Windows from the BOINC Download Page.

2) Run the BOINC installer.

a) If you are prompted by UAC to allow BOINC "to make changes to this computer", click "Yes"

b) Click "Next"

c) Read the terms in the license agreement, click on "I accept the terms in the license agreement", and then click "Next"

d) To install BOINC to the "Default" path click "Next". To install BOINC in another location follow the steps in "Advanced Install".

*Note* C:\ProgramData\BOINC is a hidden file located on the OS drive. The majority of BOINC tweaks/optimizations will be configured inside of the ProgramData\BOINC folder.

  • To open the ProgramData folder in Windows 7 - Type: Windows Key+R, in the "Open:" box type: "%programdata%\boinc"
  • To open the ProgramData folder in Windows 8/8.1 and 10 - From the "Start Screen" or the "Search Charm" type "%programdata%\boinc"

1) Click on the "Advanced" button

2) To change the "Program directory" click on "Change".

a) Navigate to the location that you would like to install the BOINC program and click "OK"

3) To change the "Data Directory" click on "Change".

a) Navigate to the location that you would like to install the BOINC data and click "OK".

*Note* Do not install the BOINC data directory to the same location that the BOINC program was installed to.

4) Once the install locations have been specified there are three other options that can be changed.

1) These three options will determine how BOINC is configured on your system.

  • Use BOINC Screensaver - Checking this box will install the BOINC screensaver and configure Windows to use the BOINC Screensaver when the computer is idle
  • Service Install - Checking this box will install BOINC as a service. It is recommended to keep the box un-checked and not install BOINC as a service. If BOINC is installed as a service on Windows, BOINC will not detect any GPUs in your system.
  • The third box will determine if other users on the system can modify BOINC, e.g., add or remove projects, start or stop the BOINC client.

2) After selecting your installation options press "Next".

e) Click "Install"

f) Click "Finish"

g) After clicking "Finish" the BOINC Installer may ask to restart your computer. If it does, save all unfinished work, close all programs, and click "Yes".

h) After the computer restarts, navigate to your Desktop (Windows 8), BOINC Manager will be running with the "Add project" window open.

3) Now it's time to add our first BOINC project.

a) The BOINC Manager is now running without any projects, so we will need to add our first project. Select "Add project" and click "Next".

b) You can select the project that you would like to add from the "Projects" dialog box. If the project you would like to run is not listed; simply enter the project URL into the "Project URL:" box to add it to BOINC Manager. For this example I will be adding "[email protected]". Click on the project, and then click "Next"

*Note* - The majority of BOINC projects have similar installation procedures, so this guide should apply to 95% of the BOINC projects. The most notable exception is "World Community Grid". For a complete guide on installing the WCG project see the WCG installation page at: World Community Grid Help

c) If you are a new user select: "No, new user" if you are an existing user select: "Yes, existing user", and then enter the email address and password you would like to have associated with the BOINC project.

*Important* In order for BOINCStats, Free-DC, and other stats sites to properly track your stats, it is best to use the same email address and user name for all BOINC projects. After entering your email address and password click "Next".

d) The project has now been added to the BOINC Manager. Click "Finish" to go to the project page, add your username, and join the overclock.net BOINC team.

e) Enter a username. Once again it is best to use the same username for all projects. The Country and ZIP/Postal code entries are optional, and those fields can be left blank. After entering your username click "Ok".

f) Enter "overclock.net" in the "Keywords" box and click "Search".

g) Click on "Overclock.net"

h) Click on "Join this team"

i) You will then be taken to your homepage for the selected project. On this page you can change your preferences for BOINC, for the project, and you can also change other account info. I would recommend bookmarking your project's account page, so that you can easily access it in the future.

j) Close the browser window, and select "Project Commands" on the BOINC Manager.

k) Click "Update"

4) By default BOINC is now set up to start with Windows. To change this setting in the BOINC Manager, navigate to: Tools\Options\General. Un-check "Run Manager at login?" and click "OK".

5) If you followed the "Default Install" then BOINC will also add its screensaver to your desktop preferences. To deactivate the BOINC Screensaver right-click on the desktop, select "Personalize", and then select Screen Saver. From here you can adjust the settings for the BOINC screen saver, or change your screen saver back to its previous setting.

6) To add additional projects select "Add Projects", and then follow the same steps to add additional BOINC projects.

7) The "Advanced View" for BOINC Manager is easy to use and is much more functional than the default "Simple View". I always recommend using the "Advanced View". To enable "Advanced View": Click on the "View" menu in the "Top Bar Menu" and then click on "Advanced View", alternatively Ctrl+Shift+A will also open the "Advanced View".

8) The "Advanced View" provides a nice intuitive GUI for managing your BOINC projects.

9) To exit BOINC: Click on the "File" menu in the "Top Bar Menu" and then click on "Exit BOINC".

*Note* If you do not check the box to "stop running tasks" then the boinc-client and any running tasks will continue to run in the background.

All done

You are now BOINCing for the Overclock.net BOINC team.

For more information on running BOINC projects check out the BOINC Guides and Tutorials and the Hardware Optimization forums.